Finally, something I can be pro-choice about. Should nursing moms be asked to cover up in public? Of course not, but it’s entirely up to the mother whether or not she wants to “go commando” while breastfeeding.
Before I began nursing my oldest child, I imagined I would be freely breastfeeding, onlookers be damned, with my head held high. But after a failed attempt to nurse while covered at a Starbucks, I quickly learned that the bold nursing image of myself wasn’t the reality. I felt embarrassed while my daughter kept fussing and pulling away, leaving me exposed and uncomfortable. Until my second and third daughters came along, I nursed exclusively at home or in the car. These days however, I can nurse my third child quite easily while covered, though I do from time to time go uncovered when I feel it’s too hot for her otherwise. Covering up has not come without it’s own share of controversy either. Other women have felt the need to inform me that I am not championing the bare breasted movement because I often use a cover, as if breastfeeding itself wasn’t stressful enough! From what I’ve experienced, Canadians are blessed with a fairly lax attitude toward uncovered breastfeeding in public places. In the United States (my homeland), that is not always the case, as this viral video from Texas has exposed.
My opinion? It’s up to you, and whatever the effects are of witnessing bare boobs doing what they are intended to do, they pale in comparison to the impact the other kinds of nudity we’re faced with on a regular basis have. So if you happen to see a mother nursing in public (covered or not), give her a thumbs up and let her figure it out on her own.